This year was the 1st year we went to the parade, and when I was told it was a big deal I thought "sure big deal for a small town."
I seriously underestimated the parade.
First of all, this parade starts on campus at WOU and goes down main street, through the entire town of Monmouth, crosses Hwy 99, (our small town equivalent of an Interstate) and continues into the neighboring town of Independence, down their Main Street to the friggin river. I'm sure if there wasn't a giant waterway blocking their path this parade would head on into Salem.
That's almost 3 miles! And 3 miles in a small town, well, runs into another town. This production is such a big deal that starting on July 2nd, you will start seeing tailgate chairs & lawn chairs appear along the sidewalks of the parade route. People start staking out their parade watching spots 48 hours prior to the event. It's like the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade of Monmouth.
The parade gets started at noon (that is of course, after the fun run and kiddie parade,which is decidedly shorter than the big kid parade due the smaller legs) with a B-52 bomber or C-130 flyover. I'm not sure which. My air force dad, who has spent the last 40 plus years working on military planes, would be ashamed of my dismal aircraft identification skills.
I swear this parade had like 200 entries, that's like the whole town. How there were thousands of people lining the 3 mile parade route is a mystery in itself. It's like the loaves and fishes but with humans. So here are some photos from a big, small town parade!